Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review - The Last Slayer by Nadia Lee (2/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Size: 612 KB
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: December 26, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: First in a series?
Source: eGalley through Net Galley(dot)com
Rating: 2/5 stars

I got an egalley of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. This was an okay book about a woman who hunts demons and then finds out she is a Slayer. While there wasn't anything technical wrong with the story, I just wasn't drawn to the characters and thought that the plot was a bit silly at points.

Ashera is an excellent demon slayer. She is hired by a company to protect them against some dragonlords and ends up killing one of their dragons. Now the dragonlords are after her. She isn't sure if she can handle all of this on her own, then Ramiel appears. He is a sexy dragonlord who seems to have sworn some kind of vow to protect her. Then Ashera finds out she is a Slayer of legend and the other dragonlords will stop at nothing to slay her.

First of all let's discuss the characters. Ashera is your pretty typical urban fantasy heroine; she acts tough as nails, gets in over her head a lot, and acts like she can take on the world when she knows she can't. So she was okay as a female lead, but nothing special. It did bother me a bit that she kept pretending to stand up to Ramiel and then went ahead and did whatever he told her. On top of this a big deal is made about how ugly Ashera is and how horrible this is. Things don't start getting better for her until her true nature is revealed and she turns into a sexy looking slayer lady. Really? Do all our heroines need to be sexy and beautiful to be effective?

Ramiel was a horrible male lead. He is supposed to be sexy, and maybe his body is described that way, but he was almost as deceitful as the bad guys. He basically rapes Ashera (mentally and kind of physically) but she likes it, so it is all okay. Then he uses her towards his own ends. But Ashera thinks that is okay too because you know in a way it kind of helped her. I thought the two of them , Ashera and Ramiel, had absolutely no chemistry what so ever. This gets even creepier once Ashera turns pretty and Ramiel gets all hot because Ashera looks so much like her mother, who he used to love. Does that have a bit of a yuck factor for anyone else?

There are quite a few decent fight scenes in the beginning, but this tapers off from the middle to end of the book. Ashera spends a lot of time bathing, changing cloths, and talking politics in the middle to end of the book. While I found the beginning somewhat interesting, the middle was boring. There is a gigantic fight scene in the end of the book, but by that time I disliked Ashera and Ramiel so much I just didn't care what happened to them.

I also didn't quite understand the use of Sex to fuel psychic power as the "magic system" in this world. Supposedly demons eat Sex which weakens their victims, and you can take a medicine-like form of Sex to enhance your power. You can also generate Sex by having sex with someone and storing it up. It was just a weird system and was never explained well, it also didn't make much sense overall. As you might be able to tell this is an adult only book; there are a lot of very explicit sex scenes in here.

The book wraps up decently but you can tell there is a lot more to the story. Ashera still needs to collect more Heartstones to grow her power and she need to get her new lands all taken care of.

Overall this was not my favorite read. Ashera is an inconsistent characters that initially seems kick-butt but turns wishy washy as the story continues. Her and Ramiel don't have any chemistry together to speak of; Ramiel uses and abuses her at every turn and this is constantly explained away as "okay" because Ashera benefits from and enjoys the abuse/use. The magic system fueled by Sex with a capital S, was confusing and never well-explained. I didn't enjoy the world or the characters. Technically the novel was well-written and easy to read, but I disliked the world and characters so much that in the end I just didn't care. I won't be reading more of this series.